Leading Cancer Centers Lack Availability of Sexual Aids

Katie Kosko

Despite awareness that many cancer survivors suffer from treatment-related sexual dysfunction, sexual aids and resources are not readily available to them — even at leading cancer centers throughout the United States.

Researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston surveyed 25 National Cancer Institute- designated cancer centers and National Comprehensive Cancer Network-member institutions via phone or internet to determine the availability of sexual aids and resources.

Calls about aids and resources available for men and women were done separately, with 23 cancer centers responding about men and 22 about women. Two did not respond.

Study findings showed that 87 percent of the centers had no sexual aids for men, and 72 percent had none for women. The centers that did provide resources offered aids such as penile support rings, personal lubricants, moisturizers and dilators.

“The stark absence of sexual aids underscores the cultural taboos around cancer-related sexual dysfunction,” authors wrote.

They added that efforts to improve availability of sexual aids for survivors would likely promote sexual health rehabilitation.

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